Social justice reading list

Published 3:49 pm Friday, June 5, 2020


The Boyle County Public Library’s mission is to be a resource to serve and engage the community by connecting people to information. The library’s vision is to “serve as a hub for the exchange of information and the provision of programs and services that enhance the quality of life in our community.” 

At this time when our country is advocating for social justice, the library can fulfill those vision and mission statements by providing resources and information to help our community. We offer this reading list to provide such resources to highlight Black authors and the Black experience.

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Books in the following list are referenced by one or more of the following: We Need Diverse Books’ Resources for Race Equity and Inclusion, the National Book Foundation’s National Book Award or the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards or book list (specifically the Coretta Scott King Awards, Morris Award, and The Amelia Bloomer Book List). 

All of these books are available to check out from the library’s print or media collections via curbside pickup, or from the library’s digital collections using the Libby or Hoopla apps. 


Adult Fiction:

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. (Available in print, CD book, and Libby app.)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston. (Available in print, CD book, Playaway, Libby app, and Hoopla.)

Young Adult Fiction:

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone. (Available in print, CD book, and on Libby app.)
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. (Available in print, CD book, and on Libby app.)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. (Available in print, discussion kit, and Libby app.)
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. (Available in print, Libby app, and Hoopla.)
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers. (Available in print and Libby app.)

Juvenile Fiction:

  • Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams. (Available in print.)
  • A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée. (Available in print.)
  • The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft. (Available in print, Libby app, and Hoopla.)
  • The Stars beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. (Available in print.)

Children’s Fiction:

  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. (Available in print.)
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford. (Available in print.)


Adult Nonfiction:

  • Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century by Dorothy E. Roberts. (Available in print and Hoopla.)
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. (Available in print and on Libby app.)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. (Available in print, CD book, and on Libby app.) 
  • Just Mercy: a Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • March series by John Lewis. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. (Available in print, Libby app, and Hoopla.)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. (Available in print and Libby app.)

Young Adult Nonfiction:

vAn Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Jean Mendoza. (Available in print and Libby app.)

  • Stamped–Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. (Available on Libby app.) 
  • This Book is Antiracist by Tiffany Jewell. (Available in print.)

Juvenile Nonfiction: 

  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. (Available in print and Libby app.)
  • Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney. (Available in print.)
  • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander. (Available in print and Libby app.) 

Curbside Pickup service is available Tuesday – Friday. Patrons wanting to check out new materials will need to contact the library on those days between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. either by phone: (859) 238-7323 or by email: Most items will be available for same-day pickup between 2 – 5 p.m. 

Information on how to download ebooks or audiobooks using the Libby app or Hoopla is available at

Anyone needing assistance or help accessing our online catalog may contact the library Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. via email at, or via Facebook Messenger at Patrons can also reach specific departments via the library’s website using the dropdown menu available on